Buckle up, folks, because Langtang Fastpack 2023 was more of an epic tale than your grandma’s Sunday yarns! Our spirited adventure kicked off with blessings from Hindu priests at the Budhanilkantha temple.
We’re Team Reindeer (yes, with the antlers and all), and our adventure began in the heart of Budhanilkantha. From there, we plunged headfirst into the lush wonderland of Shivapuri National Park, where adventure and memories awaited. When we crossed Chipling, Kali’s village, past and present merged as we trod through the Helambu trail, rekindling old Langtang memories while scripting fresh ones. If you’re curious about Kali’s story, read it here. As we journeyed north, the rhododendron forests painted a vibrant canvas for our ascent into the mystic realms of Langtang National Park.
An acclimatization day in Magengoth was like a tactical pit stop. We were soon en route to Phedi, welcomed by the majestic Gosaikunda range, our challenge for the following day – Laurebina La. The excitement was palpable.
Our initiation into high-altitude life was via Laurebina La, a rite of passage that introduced us to sacred lakes brimming with tranquility. We descended to Chandanbari, where the garden of Hotel Red Panda beckoned. Trust us, it’s more than just a garden; it’s a haven for cinnamon roll enthusiasts!
Next on the agenda: a rendezvous with the Langtang valley trail. An evening at Riverside was nothing short of refreshing, complete with a plunge into the Langtang River. Our spirits were as high as the Himalayas! Kyangin Gompa was next on our list, a place to acclimatize, to prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead. Crossing the historic village of Langtang and paying our respects at the memorial was an emotional pause in our journey, a tribute to those who cherish the same landscapes we now tread.
An acclimatization day saw us embarking on a thrilling hike to Tserko Ri, offering grand vistas (upto Shishapangma 8,027m in Tibet) and a preview of the saddle on Kanja range we’d cross the following day. Meanwhile, Anuj scouted the trail leading to Kanja La across Langtang river to the South.
Ah, Kanja La! The icy trails, the ascending ice axe steps – we were in the climbing zone! However, even Team Reindeer, known for its resolute spirit, knows when to call it. Just a few hundred meters from the pass, we made the tough decision to retreat, preserving our safety for another day of exploration in the breathtaking Langtang region. A special mention goes to Jhandu dai from The Lovely Guest house in Kyanging Gompa who accompanied us to Kanja La and back.
The next day we exited the snowy embrace of Kyangin Gompa, and reached Syabrubesi on the same day. The following day, we traversed the charming villages of Tamang Heritage Trail. Our trek, punctuated by picturesque villages, also painted a vivid picture of the impacts of Covid on rural migration. But the good news? Villages are slowly coming back to life as travelers trickle in, their wayward paths guiding them to Tamang Heritage Trail.
This journey wasn’t just about reaching places; it was about savoring the in-between moments, embracing the unknown, and relishing the landscapes that left us in awe. As this chapter comes to a close, we treasure the memories of an extraordinary journey etched in our hearts forever.
ॐ मणि पद्मे हूँ
Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ